The aftermath: Raiders 26, Titans 16

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Titans couldn’t match the solid Raiders Sunday, and swallowed a disappointing 26-16 loss.

The run defense, supposed to be a strength, couldn’t stop Oakland late to help get the ball back, which just added to the sting.

Ultimately, however, the offense has got to put up more than 16 points against a high-quality opponent to win.

Some quick hits:

That start: Yes, if the Titans recover the onside kick it’s brilliant. But they didn’t. To me, that’s an over-anxious coach trying to do too much with one play. The Titans brought in a slew of great special teams cover guys. Kick it off and pin the Raiders deep, don’t provide a great offense with a short field. Or take a touchback and defend a 75-yard field instead of a 50-yard one.

Write comment (0 Comments)

Mailbag: The influence of wide-receiver depth on tight end

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Welcome to the mailbag. Let's go.

PK: The Titans are a two-tight end team. Nothing there has changed. I wrote this very early in camp: Influx of wide receivers doesn’t mean Titans will turn into a three-wide receiver offense. That holds true, and it’s not because of a lack of depth. It’s philosophical. It's

Write comment (0 Comments)

Dick LeBeau turns 80: Messages to the Hall of Famer from three of his players

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans defensive coordinator and Pro Football Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau turns 80 today, and Sunday he becomes the first 80-year old coordinator in NFL history.FullSizeRender 34

“My plan is to not acknowledge it,” LeBeau said, laughing. “To paraphrase Garth Brooks’ song, it’s a good song, I’m much too old to feel this damn young, man. That’s all I’ve got to say about the birthday.”

LeBeau was born on Sept. 9, 1937. He played at Ohio State from 1955-58 and for the Detroit Lions from 1959-1972 and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010. He's coached in the NFL since 1973.

LeBeau still loves the work and he's still sharp. The Titans are lucky to have him. He and the defense have a big task ahead, as Derick Carr and the Raiders offense can really push the ball downfield and the offensive line affords him quality protection.

I asked three members of LeBeau’s defense for a preview of what they’d say to him.

Write comment (0 Comments)

The Titans' unanswered questions, in order of importance

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Cornerback LeShaun Sims (groin) is out. Left tackle Taylor Lewan (ankle) is in.

Still, there are things we still don’t know about Sunday.FullSizeRender 32

The top questions I want to see answered, in order of importance to me:

Who starts opposite Logan Ryan? Everyone presumes it’ll be Adoree’ Jackson, the 18th pick in the draft. And, frankly, it should be. But until it’s revealed before the game – maybe with a lineup 90 minutes ahead of kickoff, maybe not until the defense takes the field -- I am not going to say it’s definite. The Titans could start Brice McCain and bring in Jackson as part of the nickel package.

Write comment (0 Comments)

Johnathan Cyprien vs. Jared Cook a matchup to watch

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Covering tight ends was an issue for the Titans last season, and rookie Jayon Brown’s role as the new nickel linebacker has been thoroughly discussed.

IMG 1889 1

But Brown won’t be part of the Titans’ base defense, and even the best coverage linebacker won’t always be asked to cover the tight end. Plenty of them are simply too fast and athletic for a linebacker to match up with.

It’s new strong safety Johnathan Cyprien we are likely to see trying to slow Jared Cook and the Raiders’ tight ends on Sunday at Nissan Stadium. 

“I feel good about that matchup,” Titans defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau said. “Johnathan’s got plenty of size, he’s fast, very agile. I’m very happy that Jonathan is on the Titans’ side.”

Write comment (0 Comments)

With or without LeShaun Sims, time for Titans' secondary to prove improvement

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – With or without LeShaun Sims in the lineup Sunday against the Raiders, the Titans spent the offseason considering their pass defense and need to make a better showing in order to beat a quality offense.

The Titans were 29th in the NFL in pass defense last season, allowing 269.2 yards a game.

That prompted big additions to the secondary in veteran cornerback Logan Ryan, first-round corner Adoree’ Jackson and veteran strong safety Johnathan Cyprien.

Against a high-quality quarterback in Derrick Carr and two top-flight receivers in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, the Titans need to show us they’ve

Write comment (0 Comments)

Kevin Dodd on his explosion: 'It’s not what it used to be'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When the Titans trimmed their roster to 53, second-year outside linebacker Kevin Dodd was a little fearful, just like a lot of guys who’d spent over a month in the locker room working to stick on the list.

The 33rd pick in the 2016 draft out of Clemson had nothing to worry about.

But he’s one of the big Titans’ topics right now as training camp and the preseason left big, lingering questions about his ability to provide quality depth behind Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan.DoddCAR0819

A few days after Dodd played a whopping 42 snaps in the preseason finale, coach Mike Mularkey praised him again.

Write comment (0 Comments)

Paul Midday logo 2b 2

Cron Job Starts